A California couple, married for 67 years, died just hours apart while still holding hands. The couple’s daughter says it is the only way her parents’ story could really end, the two holding on to each other while they departed this life.
The Fresno Bee reports that 90-year-old Floyd Hartwig and his 89-year-old wife, Violet Hartwig, passed away on February 11 after 67 years of marriage. The families note that though the couple could not speak, they were able to show their love by their unity during their passing. The hospital beds of the pair were pushed together so that they could hold hands one last time. As they grasped one another, the family notes that their breathing became synchronized.
“As the couple lay side by side and held hands, family members noticed their breathing often was synchronized. At one point, it jumped simultaneously from around five to 16 breaths a minute.”
According to the Daily Mail, Floyd would be the first to pass away, still grasping Violet’s hand as he died. Violet would follow closely behind him, passing away just five hours later. The family says “that’s the only way it could end” as the couple was able to be laid to rest together.
“We felt blessed because we knew that’s what they wanted. When we went to the funeral home and saw the two caskets, it was meant to be. And that’s the only way it could end.”
The Hartwigs love story began all the way back when the pair were in elementary school. The two were friends first and later progressed on to more than just friends when Floyd was on leave from the Navy during World War II. Floyd and Violet Hartwig would marry one another in August of 1947. After Floyd was finally discharged from the Navy, the couple would settle down on a ranch and have three children.
Their children note that their parents shared a deep connection, and that between the two they shared 131 love letters. The children still have the letters as a reminder of their parent’s undying love. Floyd once wrote to Violet when he was overseas noting that he was a “lonely blue sailor” without her and that he couldn’t wait to get back home to her. Violet also pinned some love letters to Floyd saying she would love him for as long as she lives, and she did.
“Need your arms around me darling, hope it will be soon honey. All my love darling and take care of yourself. Love you, love you, and shall always love only you, honey, as long as I live. Your loving wife, forever.”
The love letters are indicative of the bond the pair shared throughout their lives. A love that would last until they took their final breathes, holding onto each other for one last time.